How will the changes to EPCs affect your organisation?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) have been a staple standard for over 15 years, but the rating methodology has been tweaked recently. Before we get to those chang-es and how they will affect you, there are a few back-ground details you should be aware of

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The latest SBEM update

The Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) is a software tool that provides an analysis of non-domestic buildings’ energy consumption. Energy professionals use it to determine the CO2 emission rates for new buildings in compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) and equivalent regulations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Jersey. It is also used to generate Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for non-domestic buildings on construction and at the point of sale or rent.

The SBEM receives regular updates, with the most recent one accommodating minor changes to support the new building regulations for non-domestic buildings, in force since 15th June 2022. It also includes a shift in the carbon factors used to calculate emissions.

How did the carbon factors change?

The carbon factors have been updated to reflect the electricity grid being fueled by more low carbon sources than it was back in 2013, when it was primarily fueled by fossil fuels. In 2021, up to 57.6% of electricity came as a result of low carbon generation (visit source for more).

What does this mean for EPCs?

In a nutshell, electricity now has improved carbon factors, whilst gas’s factors are worse.

Commercial buildings with significant gas consumption, for example those primarily heated with gas, could see worse EPC bands and ratings, while those whose main fuel source is electricity could see their ratings improve.

If you would like to explore how these changes may affect your buildings, write to the Energise team at [email protected].